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Zipporah, Wife of Moses: A Novel    by Marek Halter order for
Zipporah, Wife of Moses
by Marek Halter
Order:  USA  Can
Crown, 2005 (2005)
Hardcover, Audio, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Pat Elliott

Walk with Zipporah as she follows in the footsteps of the great Moses, who led the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage. This gripping story is as rich and vivid as the robe Zipporah wove for Moses in her desert home, and filled with the love and devotion of a woman married to a great man.

Zipporah first meets Moses when he saves her from shepherds intending to violate her. He makes a home with her people. Zipporah is a black Cushite woman. That doesn't matter in the desert home of her father Jethro, but when Moses and Zipporah arrive in Egypt her color becomes an issue. Moses learns from Jethro the lessons he needs to govern the Jews as they head into the wilderness. He does not always understand Zipporah's love and devotion, and at one point sends her away. But Zipporah insists on her vision of Moses' return to Egypt. With her help and counsel, he faces Pharaoh and finally leads the Israelites triumphantly out of Egypt and into the desert.

In Egypt and in the wilderness Zipporah finds she must give over her role as Moses' counselor to his sister Miriam. Unfortunately, all does not go well with the Israelites and their leader. Zipporah looks on helplessly as the former slaves turn against her beloved husband. The book follows Moses and Zipporah to their deaths in the wilderness, neither allowed to see into Canaan, the Promised Land.

Biblical fiction is hard to write. Many of us have preconceived ideas - from various sources - about the characters. Put those notions aside and read this novel with an open mind. Your perception of Moses and his wife will probably change afterwards. If you like Biblical fiction, you will enjoy Zipporah. Halter's first book in the Canaan Trilogy is Sarah, and the third book will be Lilah. I will be looking for both.

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